Fly Microbiomes Revealed - Which Fly Species Carry Diseases?

Fly Microbiomes Revealed – Which Fly Species Carry Diseases?

The microbiomes of 116 types of flies have been analyzed by researchers from Penn State University. They found that flies carry a wide variety of bacteria, including some that can cause diseases in humans. The research focused on flies from natural and urban settings. Among other diseases, flies may carry helicobacter pylori, which can cause peptic ulcers in humans and other serious infections.

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria in the Borrelia genus, which are transmitted through a tick bite. Around 10 to 15 percent of ticks carry this bacteria. The risk of contracting the disease from a tick’s bite varies from one percent to six percent, depending on the region of the world. In the northern hemisphere, Lyme disease is commonly found in Europe and America.

The study used DNA from flies in various environments, including urban habitats, Amazonian rainforests, and animal farms. Scientists collected the DNA of blowflies (Chrysomya megacephala) and houseflies (Ophrysia fetida) to determine which species carried disease-causing bacteria. They found 33 different species of bacteria in the samples, many of which were pathogens to humans.

While most flies are harmless, houseflies can cause havoc in business processes. They are the number one cause of sickness in staff, and the World Health Organization estimates that they can transmit up to 65 different diseases. This can affect not only your staff, but your stock as well. Originally from the Middle East, houseflies have spread around the world.